MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- After the Tigers' varsity baseball team missed the Mamaroneck High School prom en route to a Class AA State Championship, Coach Mike Chiapparelli had another winning idea: Reward players and prospective dates with a dance of their own.
On Tuesday, the eve before graduation, 68 students attended the "Chappy Prom" at the American Legion building in Larchmont.
Parents of lucky couples took photos at the home baseball diamond as coaches pitched box meals, boutonnieres and corsages. Then, the joyous throng boarded a roomy bus provided by the New York Yankees to the dance at Flint Park.
“When we won the State Regional Championship and people realized that they would have to miss the prom because the boys would be en route to the championships, girls across Larchmont and Mamaroneck were crying, hair appointments were lost and the flower shops were put on notice,” joked Bari Suman, the school district's athletic director. “But I believe every kid on the Mamaroneck baseball team would agree that cancelling on their dates was well worth it."
Chiapparelli said that while many of the players’ original dates for the school’s official prom ended up with pinch-hitters on June 12, some dates got the chance to experience a twin bill. “Between you and me, I think there (were) a lot of girls hoping to be invited,'' he said.
““Thank you to our administration for supporting us throughout this season’s great run, said Chiapparelli, crediting parents and school district staff, the Little League Board and Superintendent Robert Chaps -- who stayed to the sweet end of the Tigers' Section 1 semifinal win in 13 innings over Arlington in Poughkeepsie.
Mamaroneck High School Principal Elizabeth Clain was at many games, the head coach said, and "Ms. Suman did everything we asked to make us successful." Chiapparelli also thanked his volunteer coaching staff consisting of Joe Glaser, Don Novick, Matt Porrechelli, Kurt Jachner, Lou Arias and Matt Pringle.
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